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Nightline

News/Business. Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran, Bill Weir. (2013) New. (CC)

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China 9, Abc 6, Puda 4, Dennis 3, U.s. 3, Allstate 2, Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls 2, Becky 2, Us 2, Abc News 2, Intermezzo 2, Wesley Clark 1, Ambien 1, Rodman 1, Matt Damon 1, Farrell 1, Alex Perez 1, Terry Moran 1, Mike Bourne 1, Mthan Madoff 1,
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  ABC    Nightline    News/Business. Cynthia McFadden,  
   Terry Moran, Bill Weir.  (2013) New. (CC)  

    January 10, 2013
    12:35 - 1:05am PST  

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♪ look away i wish i was in the land of cotton ♪ i wish i was in dixie away ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: brad paisley's new album comes out april 9th. you can see a bonus song at jimmykimmellive.com. thanks to brad, thanks to ryan gosling, thanks to will farrell. apologizes to matt damon, we ran out of time. tomorrow, dr. oz and music from bruno mars. watch "nightline." good night.
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tonight on "nightline," college gone wild. co-ed partying turned into big business, passed out, wasted and all over youtube. but could being smashed cost these kids a future career? billion-dollar losers? overseas companies accused of massive investment fraud, possibly bigger mthan madoff. we investigate. and a crash course in body ink at the famous tattoo school. two weeks, countless needles, and plenty of human guinea pigs to help out.
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from new york city, this is "nightline" with terry moran. >> hello, everyone. i'm terry moran. glad to have you with us tonight. tonight, how college kids' binge drinking antics have become a viral business. the creators call it "i'm schmacked" and they film co-eds getting wasted, high, and everything in between. it may seem like it's all in good fun, but once those students graduate, could their hard-partying online fame carry long-term career consequences? >> reporter: so maybe this isn't something that this 21-year-old college student, who we will call by his first initial only, j, is going to want to have out there the day he goes looking for a job interview. the night at college when he partied and partied with a fair amount of this going on, and with a camera in the room. a camera held by this guy. he's a college-aged student too
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who has been touring the nation's campuses shooting, well, moments like this with college students like j. and then putting them up on youtube. with a partner, he's got a whole series called "i'm schmacked." their videos have gotten 600,000 for their west virginia video. collectively on youtube, seven million views. >> everyone loves them. >> reporter: that's jeffrey ray. he's the one behind the camera. >> from adults, from the outside looking in, on the surface, it just looks like a bunch of riffraff. it's actually influencing people to go hard at high school and get good grades to go to these schools. >> reporter: how do you know that? >> they told me. >> when you see it, you want to go to this school. >> i watched this one before i applied here. >> i looked at it when i was choosing colleges. >> reporter: and creating a brand. selling t-shirts and merchandise, hoping to turn all this into a movie or maybe a
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book. it's free enterprise and some harmless fun. but why does j seem to be having some regrets? >> i never knew that it would be so huge. i never thought it would catch on like that. really initially thought it would be more of a thing like -- almost like a thing to look back on. >> reporter: there is such a thing as being too out there online. digital candor can backfire. even as young people are putting more of their lives online, they live it, they post it, and companies are looking at it all. a recent careerbuilder.com survey found that two out of companies, 37%, are now checking your social networks, investigating your social media to see what you've been up to when you go looking for a job. >> what they're actually looking to do is to see how well someone portrays themselves online, whether they're professional online, whether they would be a good fit for the company, and along the way, if there happens to be some dirt, then they'll want to know.
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>> reporter: dirt like this. the guy who appears passed out near a case of beer in his self-posting, passed over for a job. the guy posting about his drug sale, rejected for a job. the guy who took this menacing pose. guess what -- >> in this case, they contacted the applicant, told him why he wasn't being hired and that was the last they heard of him. >> reporter: we were shown these examples by mike bourne, vice president of know it all intelligence group in pennsylvania. his company does background checks on job applicants. do college applicants need to be thinking about how they appear in a youtube video or on a facebook page if they're photographed or filmed partying? >> absolutely. >> reporter: it matters? >> absolutely. >> reporter: do they get how exposed they are? >> i don't think so. they haven't seen the repercussions yet of a missed job position or the missed entry into college because of what they post online. >> let's do it. >> reporter: when we caught up with the cameraman, he was at
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the university of wisconsin at madison. >> i'm going to a friend's party. >> reporter: he couldn't talk much just then. these were working hours. but on another day when we talked with him and his business partner aria, they spoke about one of the key ingredients of the videos. where would your videos be without alcohol? >> not very popular. >> reporter: why? >> because that's our market. >> reporter: you don't feel that you're exposing these students to some trouble down the road? >> i don't think realistically we are. of course they are online, they are in a video, they should know that. but it's a very slight chance that an employer will see it and judge them on a video. >> reporter: they said they don't really believe employers will actually care about what's in these videos. >> at this point, they don't think that we're drinking in college, it's a bit naive. >> reporter: they also point out, and mark brourn agrees, that while facebook photos are tagged with names and that makes it easy to be discovered, there is no name tagging in a youtube video, so there's less risk of
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an employer coming across one. >> the people that i've seen in those videos are hard to be identified, unless their actual names or they're tagged. >> reporter: so they're not really at a very high risk just by being in that video of being found out. >> right. >> reporter: maybe. but on that night at the university of wisconsin, we took our own stroll down frat row, where lots of people told us they had watched the videos, and most told us they would be very careful about getting into one. >> reporter: when you here schmac k'd is going to be here, what do you think? >> glad i'm going to be gone. >> i don't want that video. >> seems like girls gone wild. is it worth a stupid picture to ruin your career? >> reporter: that's what j is wondering. he and yo-fray are big friends. that's how he ended up such a big part of that video.
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knowing what you know now, would you do it again? >> i would say no. since i do care about my future. >> reporter: in part, because of j's discomfort, he edits out any images that could be construed as illegality, such as smoking pot, and he'll remove certain people if they request. but the video with j, it's been so long now that he agrees there's no point. both agreeing that if there's harm to be done, it's been done already. >> the potential costs of getting schmacked. next up, an international scandal. we investigate the overseas company suspected of scamming billions of dollars from american investors. ♪ [ male announcer ] this is karen and jeremiah. they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love, get married, have a couple of kids,
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[ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some retirement people who are paid on salary, not commission. they'll get straightforward guidance and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. in the middle of the night it can be frustrating. it's hard to turn off and go back to sleep. intermezzo is the first and only prescription sleep aid approved for use as needed in the middle of the night when you can't get back to sleep. it's an effective sleep medicine you don't take before bedtime. take it in bed only when you need it and have at least four hours left for sleep. do not take intermezzo if you have had an allergic reaction to drugs containing zolpidem, such as ambien. allergic reactions such as shortness of breath or swelling of your tongue or throat may occur and may be fatal. intermezzo should not be taken if you have taken another sleep medicine at bedtime
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or in the middle of the night or drank alcohol that day. do not drive or operate machinery until at least 4 hours after taking intermezzo and you're fully awake. driving, eating, or engaging in other activities while not fully awake without remembering the event the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations, or confusion. alcohol or taking other medicines that make you sleepy may increase these risks. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. intermezzo, like most sleep medicines, has some risk of dependency. common side effects are headache, nausea, and fatigue. so if you suffer from middle-of-the-night insomnia, ask your doctor about intermezzo and return to sleep again. ♪
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now we're going to turn to a massive wall street scandal that may have cost americans billions of dollars, potentially more than bernie madoff's ponzi scheme. it involves everyday american investors pouring their money into what was supposed to be a big boom overseas, only to be in for an expensive shock. here's abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross with the report. >> reporter: it is a set of alleged scams and frauds from far away in china that has affected thousands of american investors and their pension funds. >> it hurts. it does. >> reporter: and it strikes at the very credibility of the big
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stock exchanges which allowed the chinese companies to sell their stock here. >> hundreds of billions of dollars still at stake. >> reporter: yet when we went to get answers, no one wanted to appear in our report. not the people at nasdaq. >> this interview is over right now. it's over right now. >> reporter: not the prominent general, whose name was used to promote the very companies now accused of scamming investors. >> just a moment, general. >> no. >> reporter: and certainly not some of the accused scammers halfway around the world. >> no cameras. >> reporter: what they don't want to talk about is the sort of thing that was going on or not going on at this factory in rural china, where american investors were told huge quantities of biodiesel fuel were being produced every day. but these surveillance photos appear to show something very different. only a handful of workers and absolutely no tanker trucks carrying the fuel to market. it was all a lie, according to investor lawsuits and the man who arranged the hidden camera
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across the street, john carnes, a so called short seller who profits when the value of the stock goes down. >> i filmed four months and found that they produced essentially nothing. >> reporter: yet all the time, the company, china integrated energy, was selling its stock to unsuspecting american investors on the nasdaq stock exchange. the company's top executives rang the closing bell three years ago. >> we are so pleased to welcome china integrated energy to the market site today. >> reporter: but back in china, investors say china integrated energy was pulling a fast one. watch what the photos say on the one day the american investors were invited to the factory for a tour. >> the first time in four months, it's 7:00 in the morning, we see tanker trucks show up, and then at precisely 9:45, a big red bus shows up and it's full of investors. >> reporter: they're given a tour and put back on the bus and driven away. >> and the place shuts back down
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again just like it had been for the four months prior. >> reporter: and in the weeks following the investor tour, anything going on? >> nothing. just as dead as before. >> reporter: so this was a complete con job. >> exactly. >> reporter: china integrated energy, which owns two other fuel plants, acknowledges there were problems at this factory but denied there was any fraud. even so, it was one of some 70 chinese companies that an abc news investigation found have been delisted or left nasdaq and the new york stock exchange because of suspected fraud. >> the common theme among the many cases that we've already filed is the brazenness of the fraud. it's quite extraordinary in some instances. >> reporter: in an interview just before she left as chair of the s.e.c., mary shapiro told abc news the chinese scammers feel safe from the reach of american law. >> they see themselves as far away geographically. >> reporter: and she revealed the chinese officials rejected
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pleas she made last year in b beijing for help in tracking down the scammers. you don't have the help you need. >> not right now. >> reporter: the b-- >> there is no recourse. >> he says he and his wife lost much of their retirement money, about $60,000, in the stock of a chinese coal company, puda coal, traded in the new york stock exchange that u.s. authorities say had no coal mine. >> i'm not a big guy or a rich guy. it was tough for us. >> reporter: the puda coal chairman has been living it up ever since with the money officials say he stole. when abc news went to the headquarters of puda coal in china, we were told the chairman had not been seen for months and that no one at the office knew his whereabouts. >> do you know when he'll be back? >> that's amazing.
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that's amazing. how can he not at least be under some prosecution for this? >> reporter: puda coal was one of the many chinese companies that the new york stock exchange and nasdaq began to aggressively recruit back in 2008, seeing the potential for big profits. nasdaq executive went on cnbc to make his pitch for new listings. >> we think there's no better place to find them than in china. >> reporter: but officials say again and again the stock exchanges in their rush to get the chinese business, did a poor job of verifying the financial health of the companies. >> i think there was a time when they were not as rigorous as they could have been. >> reporter: also coming under scrutiny by the s.e.c. are several big american auditing firms, with chinese subsidiaries. as well as the american middle men who promoted the chinese companies with often elaborate presentations. >> those are all gate keepers that we're very focused on. >> reporter: one so called middle man is a company by the
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named of rodman and renshaw, well-known for its lavish conferences. in one year, 20 of the 40 chinese companies pitched to investors were later removed from stock exchanges because of allegations of fraud. the company's chairman at the time was retired general wesley clark. he told abc news he can't talk about what happened because the company is being sued. >> it's in a court case. it cannot be talked about. >> reporter: no one from the two big stock exchanges wanted to appear in our report either, but like the new york stock exchange, nasdaq in a letter to abc news said it had imposed more stringent listing requirements in april of last year, well after at least 40 of the suspected frauds had already been discovered. when we went to nasdaq to ask how that could happen, an official grew unhappy with our questions. how did those 40 get on this exchange without some kind of check to reveal they were frauds? >> companies get on exchanges through very -- look, this
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interview is over right now. it's over right now. i'm walking you out the door. >> reporter: the chinese government has now reacted to the allegation it was not cooperating with the u.s. in a statement to abc, it said, "groundless accusations will not con deuce to our friendly cooperation." cooperation that u.s. officials say they have yet to see. terry? >> fraud on the exchange. great report there, brian. thanks very much for that. be careful out there when you're investing. next up, we'll take you inside the world famous tattoo school, where wannabe body artists try their hand on some brave human canvass. n get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have. ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing,
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[ voice of dennis ] indeed. are you in good hands? mom, pop it. ♪ two inches apart, becky. two inches. t-minus nine minutes. [ ding ] [ female announcer ] pillsbury cinnamon rolls. let the making begin. ♪ faster than mandy can hang up on mr. monday. you hang up first. [ female announcer ] in just 60 seconds, you've got snack-defying, satisfying totino's pizza rolls. [ ringing ] it's on. let's roll.
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tattoos were once considered a rebel rite of passage, but these days, having a secret, or not so secret piece of permanent body art, it's all but ordinary. for those of you wondering what it's like to be the one who
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wields the needle, we sent abc's alex perez to the famous tattoo school, offering a two-week crash course. >> reporter: over the last decades, tattoos have poked through and emerged from a secret go against the grain rebel following to being publicly accepted. approximately 36% of americans between the ages of 18 to 25 have been inked. one in five americans have at least one tattoo. >> sometimes i like to crack jokes while i'm tattooing, just to keep the client's mind off the pain. >> reporter: tattoos are so popular, the art is mainstream, making some of the artists cult stars. >> i'm ready to rock and show the world what tattooing is all about. >> reporter: even the guy who teaches the artists got his 15 minutes of fame. tlc's show "tattoo school", which profiled the challenges of learning the trade. and star dr. bill poe, started
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his own school called the world's only tattoo school, located in shreveport, louisiana. is it really the world's only tattoo school? >> when we first started it, it certainly was the only one in the world and that is the legal name of it. >> reporter: today the students get a lecture about a rotary. >> rotary machines do not work like your coil. >> reporter: and immediately get to put it to use. >> are you ready to go? all right. go ahead. >> reporter: students prepare their stations. >> this is barrier film, to help prevent any cross contamination, any blood that will drip off or anything. >> reporter: prep their clients. >> and where is it going? right here. we're going to have to shave your fur off. >> reporter: and because after all, these are students. >> it's kind of crooked. it was straight when we had it down, though. >> reporter: sometimes it takes practice. >> it's leaking. >> i have a wide variety of
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students. we have career switchers. we have new people. i have people who are already tattoo artists, but maybe they're just having trouble. >> reporter: as the students continue their class, the doctor makes his rounds. >> are you pretty happy with that? >> that's a very good job. >> you like that rotary machine? >> i love it. >> this is a challenge, trying to just eyeball it without a guideline. >> he's doing a great job, though. >> it's beautiful, no doubt about that. >> reporter: after a two-week course at $5,600, his students become certified artists. can you really teach everyone in two weeks how to be a good tattoo artist? >> if someone comes to me and they're a good artist on paper and they listen, they can become a good tattoo artist very quickly. >> reporter: can you really learn everything you need to learn in two weeks? >> it will teach you enough to start out. >> it's definitely harder than it looks. not anybody can pick up a tattoo machine and do it. >> is that all right? >> so far, so good. >> right on. >> reporter: so you make no

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